It was after 8pm when I walked out of Horrorhound Weekend’s main convention hall during its opening Friday night. While maneuvering past the immense line of patrons (still looking to gain access) I walked across the street to The Crown Plaza hoping to catch a screening of The Profane Exhibit. It’s a new Italian film written and directed by Ruggero Deodato whom I’d met a couple of years back in Massachusetts. As the previous film was still playing, I took a seat in a comfy, lounge chair located outside the room. I was in the process of checking my phone messages when I heard a familiar voice call, “Hey Dave!”
So far as this Monster Kid was concerned, December 25, 1978 would rank as my finest Christmas haul EVER! Not only did I receive my STAR WARS Creature Cantina along with its monster denizens, but also a big green monster I’d long been pining for. No, not The Incredible Hulk…I’m referring to the infamous Stretch Monster!
I was delighted when my daughter, Jade, asked me to take her to see HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA for her 11th birthday. I picked her and her sister up after work and made a quick post on Facebook that I was “taking my girls” to see the film its opening night. When co-running a horror blog, sometimes using your kids as a “beard” is necessary in maintaining your Terror image when partaking in less fearsome, “animated features.” Despite my cowardice on Social Media, I must confess here that, after viewing the preview for this film a month ago, I had every intention of seeing it with or without them!
Our blog was scarcely a month old when we had the honor of featuring the work of Jeff Carlson. I knew who he was years before having been a member of the Svengoolie YAHOO group. Jeff had generously shared his talents to the group by showcasing some of his original art featuring the now National Horror Host. I am happy to say that we will be showing some of them in an upcoming post. For now, we’d like to once again point your attention to some of his amazing shirt designs for sale on his RobotMonkeyPirate site! Check them out…
I have to confess that my favorite part of G-Fest is checking out the amazing models created by fans and put on display during the weekend. I had tried my hand at it a couple of years too but found out that I am better off sticking to writing as opposed to model-making. This stigma, however, is a personal issue, as ALL ages and skill levels are not only welcomed but encouraged here.
BY BRIAN MAZE: In Fairfax, Virginia the PERFECT STORM of Horror Hosts converged to join together at The Monster Madhouse to host THE BEAST WITH 1,000 EYES!
Where else could you find evil puppets such as “Billy” from the JIGSAW in Ruby Red Slippers like THE WIZARD OF OZ, GHOULIES, “Gizmo” from GREMLINS (though technically not evil), CRITTERS, and even that pesky gopher from CADDYSHACK? Why that would be DAYS OF THE DEAD of course, which took place this past weekend!
During MONSTERBASH 2012, I was sorry to leave early and not catch the big debut of Dylan Druktenis’ NUKA-SAURUS. Dylan, of course, is the son of Dennis Druktenis who publishes one of our ALL-TIME favorite periodicals SCARY MONSTERS MAGAZINE! We Daves have been honored to have had some of our articles printed over the last couple of years in this great REAL Monster Mag! On Saturday night when the convention was just getting revved up (and I was fizzling out, see story HERE) Dylan’s film was presented to an audience for the first time.
It was great seeing my Horror Hosts friends this past weekend at MONSTERBASH! Count Gore de Vol, Son of Ghoul, Penny Dreadful, and Mr. Lobo are regulars there as well as Chilly Billy whom I met for the first time! Check out these pics…
Usually when I attend a fan convention, it’s after weeks of planning and preparation leading up to the big weekend itself. MONSTERBASH (summer 2012) was a last minute decision that threw my convention(al) wisdom straight out the window! I’ve always wanted to do one of these but there were two main issues; 1) Its about a 7 hour drive from my native Chicago to Butler, Pennsylvania and certainly not a journey I relish doing alone. 2) Its slated right before July which is always the busiest convention month here in the Midwest. This requires me having to use up vacation days and resources at a time when I need to be stockpiling them in order to get through the next month. So what changed my mind?
I just returned from seeing UNDERWORLD: AWAKENING at my local theater and, unlike its lead character, my heart is still pumping. After the last movie I saw, THE DEVIL INSIDE (my review HERE), I decided to keep my high hopes in check. While BOTH films managed to do quite well financially on their opening weekends, I attribute that more to us horror fans craving a night at the movies as opposed to a testament of the films themselves. This one, however, does give you your money’s worth.
Not long ago, we featured a 20th Anniversary piece on our beloved SCARY MONSTERS MAGAZINE. This was designed as a Tribute to both the magazine as well as its unassuming publisher, Dennis Druktenis. We are pleased to follow that up with an interview featuring another icon of SCARY MONSTERS – its incomparable main cover artist, “Scary” Terry Beatty!
This past week, I had the unique opportunity to experience two zoo Halloween attractions located over a thousand miles from each other. Both Daves are volunteer docents (from the Greek word “to teach”) at their respective zoos and enjoy sharing their important conservation messages with thier guests. I have been affiliated with Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo for over 13 years (both as employee and volunteer) and David Albaugh joined his zoo (Roger Williams Park in Rhode Island) earlier this year. Before I continue, let me state that this is NOT a compare/contrast piece. Each year, numerous guests at the zoo will say things to me like, “Your zoo is better than mine,” “My zoo is better than yours,” etc. The truth is, all Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accredited zoos are not in competition with one another. In fact, it is quite the contrary. These non-profit organizations all work together for the singular purpose of doing important conservation research around the world (which most of the public is unaware of ) while also educating and connecting their visitors with nature during their recreational visits.
While it was the National Horror Host, Svengoolie, who is indirectly responsible for bringing the Daves together as friends, it has always been our stance that TERROR FROM BEYOND THE DAVES was really the bastard child of the 2010 Vampira Tribute and SCARY MONSTERS MAGAZINE. In reality, the two are complimentary of each other. Within the pulpy pages of the world’s only “REAL Monsters Magazine,” classic monsters as well as Horror Hosts have always been featured side-by-side. And why shouldn’t they be? For many of us adult Monster kids, it was the classic commercial hosts who introduced us to all the greats be it Godzilla, The Universal Monsters, the films of Hammer Studios, the wonderful “B” movies of Roger Corman, as well as those from directors who were slightly…ahem…less gifted.
Still reeling from the experience of sitting through SHARK NIGHT 3D, I felt it was time to immerse myself in something a little less CGI and more “old school.” I had read on article on the new film, CREATURE, in the latest FANGORIA while also enjoying a preview of it a few weeks back. This film has a limited release and played at only a few theaters in my native Chicagoland. Therefore, I was forced to forgo my favored big screen location in favor of a less savory one. In some ways, however, this added to the overall grindhouse feel of the film and I felt it actually enhanced the experience.
Like SHARK NIGHT 3D, the film deals with a group of college age kids headed for a vacation retreat in the swamplands of Louisiana. Note to self: Stay North of the Mason Dixon Line when seeking recreation. The young adventurers (a.k.a. victims) actually reminded me of a hillbilly version of The Scooby Gang, minus the talking dog. Unlike the loathsome SHARK NIGHT kids, however, I found this group quirky yet likeable. The gang makes the mistake of stopping off at a ramshackle, roadside store and encounter some of the less savory locals – most notably a man named “Chopper” played by the charismatic Sid Haig. Second note to self: If going to a rest stop you happen to see Sid Haig (in or out of a clown costume) turn around and hightail it the opposite direction!
Aside from pickled gator eggs and cold beer, the shop also has some rather unusual oddities for sale such as a cast of Bigfoot’s print and an old carnival flier featuring a half-man/half-alligator creature. This leads to the premise of the film; an inbred gator-man hunts the local swamps in search of its two-legged prey (there’s a lot more to the story but I’ll let you see that for yourself). The gang decides to follow a map, courtesy of Chopper, in search of an old house where the monster heralds from and thus begins the body count.
The film promises good old fashioned monster and gore FX and, I am happy to report, delivers on both counts! The SWAMP THING-like creature design might not make it the most inspired monster but, after years of CGI and Scy-Fy Channel bull crap, was enough to make me want to stand up in the theater and cheer! This film is NOT for kids and I noticed a few people in the theater spending a lot of time shielding their children’s eyes (while managing to keep their own square on the screen). Straight out of the gate there’s full female nudity (with close-ups) and plenty more eye-candy peppered throughout the movie. The beautiful yet eerie Cyprus swamps of Louisiana provide the perfect atmosphere for both the CREATURE and its grimy cast. You’ll definitely want to take a hot shower when you get home (after the female cast members have you taking a cold one).
I have to say I enjoyed this film and really liked that it was not only a throwback to vintage monster-making, but also those fun drive-in movies of the 70′s. I hope you’ll get a chance to see it on the big screen but, if its limited distribution makes this an impossibility, keep your eyes peeled for its home video release. Pick it up the day it comes out and save it for the weekend. Do as I did and treat yourself to a nice new monster movie on a Saturday night!